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Walkable Schools How Smart Growth Principles Can Help School Districts and Kids Richard S. Geller Orange County District 1 Planning & Zoning Commissioner.

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Presentation on theme: "Walkable Schools How Smart Growth Principles Can Help School Districts and Kids Richard S. Geller Orange County District 1 Planning & Zoning Commissioner."— Presentation transcript:

1 Walkable Schools How Smart Growth Principles Can Help School Districts and Kids Richard S. Geller Orange County District 1 Planning & Zoning Commissioner Jürgen Duncan Transportation Designer, Canin Associates Eliza Harris Urban Planner, Canin Associates Orlando Metro Coordinator, Congress for New Urbanism Walkable Schools

2 McDonald N., Active transportation to school: trends among U.S. schoolchildren, 1969–2001. Am J Prev Med. 2007;32 (6):509 –516. The State of the Sidewalks The State of the Sidewalks Decline in Children Walking to School

3 Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Why Should We Care?: Health Why Should We Care?: Health Childhood Obesity Increasing the opportunity for physical activity within the school day affected the students performance in both reading and mathematics achievement The Impact of Physical Activity and Obesity on Academic Achievement Among Elementary Students, National Council of the Professors of Educational Administration there are consistent findings that overweight and obesity are associated with poorer levels of academic achievement. Taras and Potts-Datema. Obesity and Student Performance at School Journal of School Health

4 Motor vehicle crashes are U.S. teens leading cause of death, amounting to more than one in three deaths in this age group. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Why Should We Care?: Safety

5 Why Did Kids Stop Walking? Why Did Kids Stop Walking? Metro Orlando: #1 in Pedestrian Danger Crossing guard's funeral is today Crime Report October 24, 2009|By Henry Pierson Curtis, Sentinel Staff Writer Orange County An 80-year-old Orange County sheriff''s crossing guard fatally injured last week at his school-crossing post will be buried Orange County Sheriffs car hits 6-year-old pedestrian walking home from school The young girl, Marqueasha Sabrii Henderson, was walking with two of her sisters…. A driver honked their horn at the girl, which scared her and caused her to dart across the roadway.

6 as fast as possible Roadways have been designed to move vehicular traffic as fast as possible to increase roadway capacity. Results: Unsafe and unpleasant for pedestrians and bicyclists. Why Did Kids Stop Walking? Why Did Kids Stop Walking? Roadways designed for cars, not kids Old Winter Garden Rd. School Crossing Lane Width = 12 ft. (same as an interstate highway)

7 Why Our Roads Are Dangerous Why Our Roads Are Dangerous Speed/Fatality Relationship

8 Why Our Roads Are Dangerous: Why Our Roads Are Dangerous: Road Width/Fatality Relationship Source: Swift-Painter-Goldstein study of traffic accidents in Longmont, Colorado

9 Sidewalks are an important element of the Safe Routes to School program BUT There is much more to it. Safe Routes to School: Safe Routes to School: Not Just Sidewalks

10 A better and safer environment for kids to walk and bike. Separation of traffic from walkways Shade trees for buffer and comfort What Do Safer Streets Look Like What Do Safer Streets Look Like More Than Just Sidewalks

11 What Do Safer Streets Look Like? Celebration Elementary Narrow, Slow Roads On-Street Parking slows the traffic; School Incorporated into Urban Fabric; Windows place eyes on the school Bump-outs shorten crossing distance

12 21 st Century Walkable Smart Growth 1960s Era Suburban Sprawl or How Can We Get Safer Streets?

13 How Can We Get Safer Streets? How Can We Get Safer Streets? Connection / Capacity Relationship

14 Olympia High School Parking lot consumes about as much land as the buildings; disconnected from adjacent subdivisions; four-lane arterial requires driving; O.C. Code (1)(d): 65 acre H.S. sites (excluding retention) on roadways suitable for high volume traffic (f). The Suburban Disconnect

15 Winter Park High SchoolBuilt into the neighborhood; Small Parking lot compared to Olympia Part of the Neighborhood

16 High School Road(s) Walkable? Bus Eligible Boone 2-lanes Yes69.9% Edgewater 3-lanes Yes75.3% Winter Park 2-lanes Yes78.8% Olympia 4-lanes arterialNo81.6% Freedom 4-lanes arterial No86.4% Dr. Phillips 4-lanes arterial No86.9% Source: OCPS Estimated annual operating cost per school bus: $62,000 Saving the $$$ Saving the $$$ Walkability Can Reduce District Costs

17 Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati, Ohio Attractive architecture Civic pride Student motivation Academic success Respecting the Street & The Students

18 Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati, Ohio - back of school incorporated into neighborhood without fences The Opportunity to Walk

19 Faculty Parking Bus Pick-up and drop-off Senior Parking On-street parking Enrollment: 2,065 Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati, Ohio The Advantages Alumni Funded Expansion

20 Solutions Orient the Schools Main Entrance to the Street Windermere Elementary Windermere Elementary: Architecture invites drivers more than pedestrians The sides the front… …and fronts the side

21 Which school would you walk to?

22 Vehicles travel at mph Reducing injuries 76% and fatalities 90% Source: Federal Highway Administration A Safer Alternative: The Modern Roundabout High Speed Turns, Right Turns on Red Lights, 43 crashes (in 2009) and 115 Feet of Pavement View from Dr. Phillips YMCA. Dr. Phillips Elementary is caddy-corner. Windermere Roundabout

23 Pedestrian Crossing: Current Plans: up to 115 ft. Roundabout: 26 ft. to island Two crossing guards can stop all traffic movement. Sidra Traffic Simulation Current motorist delays up to several minutes would decrease to between seconds A Safer Alternative: The Modern Roundabout

24 Designing Walkable Designing Walkable Great Resources ITE-CNU: Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares Safe Routes to School program website: saferoutesinfo.org SmartGrowthSchools.org Walkability / Bikeability Checklist

25 What Can OCPS Do? 1.When the School District reviews master development plans Support interconnected, low speed, narrow streets and site new schools accordingly Allow on-street parking to absorb demand 2.Adopt Smart Growth Schools Policies Work with local governments to allow flexibility for setbacks, minimum acreage requirements and road types Consider the neighborhood, walkability, and transportation costs when choosing whether to renovate or relocate an existing school

26 What Can OCPS Do? 3. Seek Alternative Funding Sources T1.3.3 Orange County shall consider all available funding sources, including those at the State and Federal levels…. $29,116,392 granted to Florida ( ) School Alumni AssociationsDeveloper Contributions

27 5. Look for partners Plant free trees on Arbor Day on routes near the school Do walkability checklist with the PTA members Participate in land use and transportation planning exercises 4. Review Proposed Road and Intersection Changes and Advocate for Student Pedestrians Propose narrow lanes, on- street parking, and other road engineering to lower travel speeds to 30 mph or less in front of schools and where students will likely walk Support bike lanes What Can OCPS Do: Be Opportunistic Support smaller curb radii for slower turns Support bump-outs to shorten crossing distance Consider roundabouts in lieu of road widening


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